We shall all agree that ICT supports education. But if technology is inappropriate - not accessible or not offered with enough support - it could contribute to digital and education divide.
Technologies to support learning processes have been progressively introduced in our educational systems. Nowadays, it is quite usual that elearning platforms support the students’ access to the contents in our universities.
But what looks a definitive solution for some people can be a worse barrier for others. Having a low level of computer skills, both the students with functional diversity and the elderly find difficulties sometimes when using these virtual environments.
EU4ALL is a European Commission funded project about accessibility in higher education and lifelong learning for everyone, without exceptions.
From a technological point of view, EU4ALL offers components and services that can be adopted by universities to improve their offering and make it more accessible. The goal is to offer a framework to support accessible lifelong learning paradigm... but the big question is: are universities ready to adopt such a solution and offer Lifelong Learning services accessible to all?
The readiness of institutions is not only related to technical aspects, but depends principally on social, political, organisational and management issues.
Since October 2006, companies, universities and organisations in the EU4ALL consortium have provided a set of services that can be integrated within virtual learning environments in a transparent way allowing everyone to have access to the educational resources by adapting them to the student’s preferences and/or needs.
EU4ALL gives us a framework or set of free tools that enable people with functional diversity the access to electronic contents in higher education with equal opportunities. Now it is possible:
- learning from our mobile phone,
- replacing an audio recording for a transcription,
- providing a DAISY book instead of an electronic book…
- whatever other required adaptation of contents to the student preferences and/or needs, rather than maintaining parallel alternative contents.
Let's avoid people with functional diversity and the elderly face further exclusion from education and work!
NOTE for those people who were used to access the old version of the EU4ALL project website: You will find EU4ALL public deliverables below. Please find the links to the EU4ALL related papers and scientific articles in the Technical Community section.